The Celebrity Flora offers state-of-the-art access to the wonders of the Pacific archipelago
On a sunny morning this spring, I was snorkeling off the coast of Isabela Island in the Galápagos when 3 whiskery sea lions suddenly appeared. As if on cue, one swerved in front of me, staring big-eyed into my mask as he passed. Then another torpedoed under me, and the third shot up from below and performed a bubbly flip right before my eyes.
The scene transfixed me, and then transported me back 20 years to when my teenage daughter had been similarly adopted by a trio of sea lions one afternoon in these same waters. For half an hour, they had played together, diving, swerving, and somersaulting. Years later, when she became a marine biologist, my daughter said it was that experience that had inspired her to follow that path. I was thinking about that on my recent visit when another sea lion roared by me, so close that the water whooshed the length of my body. It felt like a sea lion salute to my daughter and a welcome back to me.